The Kansas City Chiefs cut cornerback Stanford Routt after Week 9—just eight games into his three-year, $18 million contract—leaving the door wide open for an NFL contender to claim him off of waivers for the playoff push.
Via the Kansas City Star's Adam Teicher:
To make roster room for Shaun smith, #Chiefs waived Stanford routt— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) November 5, 2012
There's no doubt that Routt has been a disappointment in 2012, but then again, so has the entire Chiefs defense. Routt is a veteran player who has had success in the NFL before this season, and he can surely help a team in need of depth and talent at the cornerback position.
So, which teams should claim him?
Vontae Davis wasn't worth the price they paid.
Jim Irsay traded a second-round pick and a conditional late-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft for Vontae Davis this summer in an attempt to bolster his porous secondary (h/t AP).
The Colts are 5-3 and are right in the middle of the AFC playoff hunt.
Though the team hasn't been atrocious against the pass, the competition thus far hasn't been stiff in that department. The only teams the Colts have faced with dangerous aerial attacks have been the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, and both teams had success in the passing game.
If the Colts have any hope of turning the 2012 campaign into a magical one, the secondary must improve.
Andrew Luck broke Cam Newton's rookie passing record against the Dolphins.
The Miami Dolphins have a phenomenal opportunity to steal the AFC East this season.
Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas have the running game going strong, the team's defense doesn't allow rushing yards and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has proven to be every bit as valuable to the Dolphins as Robert Griffin has been for the Washington Redskins.
The only thing missing is a competent secondary.
This unit is responsible for letting Andrew Luck break Cam Newton's single-game rookie passing mark, and is the No. 29-ranked passing defense in the NFL. If things aren't tightened up in a hurry, Tom Brady and his receiving corps will feast on this secondary, and the team's playoff hopes will vanish.
Aqib Talib was just traded away, and this team is desperate for secondary help.
There isn't a team in the NFL more ill-equipped to defend opposing passing attacks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank No. 32 against the pass, allowing an astonishing 321 yards per game. Eric Wright was brought in as a free agent to help at a cost of $38 million for five years, but he's been horrible.
It's clear that the Bucs could use a veteran player to shore up their one glaring weakness.
On a different note, this tough team has won three of its last four games, and at 4-4 is only one-half game out of the No. 6 seed in the NFC behind the Seattle Seahawks.
Adding Routt could go a long way towards helping this team take the next step.
The Detroit Lions have risen from the ashes of a 1-3 start to put their name in the pot of NFC teams vying for one of the six playoff spots.
And while the defense has managed to put together a nice first half—especially against the pass—there's no doubt that the secondary is still suspect, especially now that Louis Delmas is back out of the lineup.
The Lions have a brutal second half of the season lined up. They will face the Green Bay Packers (twice), Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears—all teams capable of lighting up the sky with a major aerial display.
If the Lions have a chance at winning enough games to get into the playoffs, it would be wise to claim Routt off of waivers to bolster their secondary.